Two days later, the 300yd headshunt ballasting is almost completed.
Here he is, setting off from Little Buckland to cross the bridge and take another 6 ton load to Laverton.
This is where today's drops were taking place, the connection between the former headshunt, and the start of the newly laid and welded section. We're looking towards Broadway here.
Another 6 drops here should see the end of the ballasting of the old headshunt, then the sleepers, laid to one side, can be put back and we are ready to receive the first load of rail! It's due on September 2nd.
Looking back towards Toddington from the same place, you can see the end of the ballasted part of the loop (which was left in place as in good order) and in the distance the pilasters of Laverton bridge, where the new rail laid so far stops at the moment. All traces of the loop have now been removed.
When the rail is laid over Little Buckland bridge and beyond, it will no longer be possible to use that area as a ballast delivery point.
This makes it interesting, as the next ballast delivery point will be the lower 'car park' field at Broadway! That looks like some time away yet, but we're getting nearer! Ballast will then be shuttled down to bridge 4 at Peasebrook Farm, about 1/2 mile away.
We tested it with a volunteer on the 'Red' set - the weight registered 25Kgs ! Either this volunteer urgently needs feeding with burgers and coke, or the machine still has to be calibrated. (the latter was the case).